BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — ESPN is pulling Hank Williams Jr.’s classic intro song from its broadcast of Monday night’s NFL game after the country singer famous for the line “Are you ready for some football?” used an analogy to Adolf Hitler in discussing President Barack Obama.
In an interview Monday morning on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Williams said of Obama’s outing on the links with House Speaker John Boehner: “It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
Asked to clarify, Williams said: “They’re the enemy,” adding that by “they” he meant Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
“While Hank Williams Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to ‘Monday Night Football,’” ESPN said in a statement. “We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
ESPN did not say whether the intro, synonymous with “Monday Night Football” since 1989, would be used again after this week’s Buccaneers-Colts game.
The song “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” is a remixed version of his 1984 hit “All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight.” The version won Williams four Emmy Awards in the early 1990s as the opening theme to “Monday Night Football,” then on ABC.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.